Jeff Hamilton Trio
Originality is what versatile drummer Jeff Hamilton brings to his performances and is one of the reasons why he is constantly in demand recording or performing with his trio, Oscar Peterson, Ray Brown, the Clayton Brothers or co-leading the Clayton-Hamilton Jazz Orchestra.
Born in Richmond, Indiana, Jeff grew up listening to his parent’s big band records and at the age of eight began playing drums along with Oscar Peterson records. He attended Indiana University and later studied with John Von Ohlen. In 1974, he got his first big break playing with the New Tommy Dorsey Orchestra. He then joined Lionel Hampton’s Band until 1975 when he, along with bassist John Clayton, became members of the Monty Alexander Trio.
He attained a childhood goal in 1977 when he joined Woody Herman and the Thundering Herd. In 1978, he was offered the position vacated by Shelly Manne in the L.A.4 with Ray Brown, Bud Shank and Laurindo Almeida. Jeff began his association with the Ray Brown Trio in 1988 and left in March 1995 to concentrate on his own trio. From 1999-2001, the Clayton/Hamilton Jazz Orchestra was named the in-residence ensemble for the Hollywood Bowl Jazz series. The Los Angeles Jazz Society named Jeff and his musical partner, John Clayton, musicians of the year for 2006.
In addition to his many recordings with Ray Brown, Jeff has been on nearly 200 recordings with artists such as Natalie Cole, Diana Krall, Milt Jackson, Rosemary Clooney, Barbara Streisand, Mel Torme, John Pizzarelli, Benny Carter, Lalo Schifrin, George Shearing, Dr. John, Clark Terry, Gene Harris, Toshiko Akioshi, Scott Hamilton, Harry “Sweets” Edison, Keely Smith, Bill Holman, Herb Ellis, Barney Kessel and Mark Murphy. Jeff is a frequent guest of the WDR Big Band in Cologne, Germany. He also appeared in Natalie Cole’s Great Performances PBS special, Unforgettable and an Oscar Peterson documentary, Life in the Key of Oscar. As well as recording and performing throughout the world, Jeff also teaches, arranges and composes.
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